10 Lesbian Book Recs Not Just for Lesbian Visibility Week

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well! Happy (belated) Lesbian Visibility Week from your resident agender lesbian! I love seeing everyone’s book recs around this time of year, and I thought that I would also share some recommendations of lesbian books that I love across several different genres, including fantasy, historical fiction, memoir and poetry that are sure to keep you busy for the rest of the year, not just one week in April!

Historical Fiction – Mary, Everything by Cassandra Yorke

If you haven’t read this exciting self-published novel then you need to get on it now! It is technically historical fiction but it’s also an amazingly crafted fantasy story that switches timelines between the early 2000s and the 1920s. Think sunshine-y flapper girls, dusty library archives, lesbian love triangles, autumnal light academia vibes, accidental time travelling, and incredible science-based magic wielding feminists from the 1920s, and if that doesn’t make you want to pick up the book, maybe my glowing review or my interview with the author might give you that extra nudge (but let’s be real, you’re already sold, aren’t you!).

Graphic Novel – Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier & Val Wise

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms is a graphic novel that I was so lucky to read an advanced copy of before it was released and I have not shut up about it since! This is an adorable YA story about two girls who find themselves on the same school cheerleading team – Annie, a fat lesbian who grumpily agrees to join to help with her college application, and people-pleaser trans girl BeeBee! There are really sweet friendships in here, an adorable friends-to-lovers romance (the best kind…), not to mention the excellent representation. If you loved Heartstopper, definitely pick this one up!

Nonfiction – Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought

Mouths of Rain is undoubtedly one of the best anthologies I have ever read. Though I did put this in the nonfiction section, this anthology contains a multitude of essays, poems, memoirs, and so much more. This was another book I was lucky to read as an advance copy prior to its release last year (and have also not shut up about it), and it’s a book that I, personally, will also be going back to at some point this year as I need to highlight and annotate what seems like every second sentence. If you’re looking to diversify your TBR, do check this one out as it really is excellent!

Science Fiction – The Sea Within by Missouri Vaun

If, like me, you often find sci-fi to be a bit intimidating, I highly recommend picking up The Sea Within by Missouri Vaun. This is a really exciting climate crisis-based story that honestly feels like you’re watching a TV show instead of reading. Think butch/femme romance, a race against time to save the planet, time travelling (but on purpose this time!), and a glimpse into our potential future – all without the complex, heavily scientific jargon that sci-fi novels are often full of. If you loved Joan He’s incredible The Ones We’re Meant to Find – first of all, you have excellent taste – and wish it were slightly less perplexing and 100% more sapphic then this is for you!

Adult Romance – The Secret of You & Me by Melissa Lenhardt

The Secret of You and Me is a really exciting book in sapphic literature as it was the publisher’s, Mills & Boon, first sapphic romance novel ever (for 2020 that was a bit disheartening, but exciting nonetheless!). This is a really summer-y romance that is great for beginners to the genre and features one of our main characters returning to the town where she grew up and dealing with loss, addiction, difficult family lives, and meeting her first love again. This can be a difficult read at times so make sure you check out the content warnings, but this is just your classic chick-lit romance novel that is the perfect binge read!

Poetry – Dream Work by Mary Oliver

I’m going to preface this one by saying, I am not a poetry reader. I can maybe name you five poets maximum off the top of my head whose work I’ve enjoyed (funnily enough, all of them are queer), and Mary Oliver is one of them. Dream Work was the first of her work that I’ve read and it is definitely worth being your first foray into her work, too. This contains forty-five poems that cover a wide variety of topics, so there’s sure to be something for you among them. Some of my favourites from this collection were wild geese, morning poem, the sunflowers, the journey, and members of the tribe.

Horror – The Girls are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I was lucky enough to be part of the TBR and Beyond Tours book tour for The Girls are Never Gone at the end of last year. and let me tell you, this is one of the most unsettling horror novels that I have ever read! It follows a paranormal podcaster as she takes on an internship at a spooky estate with a horrifying past. While there, she tries to convince herself that nothing is amiss all the while creepy writing is appearing on the walls and her new friends almost drown in the lake – and that’s all while developing a crush on another of the girls on the internship. Not only was this so creepy (don’t read it just before bed like I did) but there’s some really great representation in here too, including own voices type 1 diabetes rep!

Erotica – Shameless by Brit Ryder

If you’re looking for something a bit spicier than your average romance novel, then Shameless by Brit Ryder (aka Bold Strokes Books author, Kris Bryant) is an excellent place to start! This is a super short novella that branches off into a full length novel – Not Guilty – if you enjoyed reading this instalment (which I guarantee that you will!). This is a really hot erotica that takes place in an art gallery, it features a butch femme dynamic and a plot twist that will leave you reeling and dying to read the next book! Plus, it’s short length means that it can be read in a day and it’s the perfect size for you to dip your toes into the genre if you’re just getting into it!

Fantasy – Deadline by Stephanie Ahn

If you love a good urban fantasy book – like the Mortal Instruments but gayer, less problematic and overall…better – then you’re going to love the first book in this series! This is a really fun book about a disgraced witch, who is both very sarcastic and very gay, who – in order to earn money – ends up hunting a lost magical artefact in New York for one of the city’s most powerful witch families. It does feature some pretty fun plot points, such as deals with demons, running from alligator/mole chimaera and seeing the main character getting her magic kicked into gear by a succubus in a BDSM dungeon! I don’t want to say a whole lot more than this since this is a novella, but it’s one of the most fun urban fantasy books that I’ve ever read!

Thriller – The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

Last, but certainly not least, was one of my favourite books of 2020 – The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown. Though I am not a huge thriller fan, I absolutely adored this book, and I think it’s definitely to do with Savannah Brown’s gorgeous, lyrical writing – and the fact that for a large part of it, it read more like a YA contemporary! This book can be quite heavy at times, seeing as it deals with grief and losing a parent, and is full of some big twists and turns, but there are also some really sweet moments throughout, including the romance and the amazing wlw/mlm solidarity in the form of the loveliest friendship that we all need!

As always, I’d love to know what you thought of any of these books and if you have any recommendations for me too! Stay safe!

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